Oil Futures Settle Sharply Lower For The Day, Shed Over 7% In Week

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Crude oil prices drifted lower on Friday, extending recent losses amid continued concerns about outlook for gasoline demand and easing of production cuts by leading oil producers.

A slightly firmer U.S. dollar on the back of another increase in U.S. employment, albeit at a slower pace, and a drop in unemployment rate, weighed on crude oil prices.

West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures ended down $1.60 or nearly 4% at $39.77 a barrel, after hitting a high of $41.87 a barrel early on in the session.

WTI Crude oil futures shed over 7% in the week, recording a weekly loss after four successive weeks of gains.

Brent crude futures drifted down $1.41 or about 3.2% to $42.66 a barrel.

According to a report from Baker Hughes, total weekly active drilling rig count increased by 2 to 256 this week. Weely oil-rig count, meanwhile, was up by 1 to 181 in the week.

Sharp reduction in crude output by OPEC and allies since May pushed up crude oil prices for the past several weeks. However, with oil producers deciding to ease production cuts, output has increased by about 950,000 barrels a day and this is weighing on oil prices for the past few sessions.

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